Not Just a Paycheck

The first time I took the quiz I’m pretty sure I got a 2/10 but those were just lucky guesses. The second time I took it to refresh my mind on some of the facts that were still just as surprising to me as they were the first time I read them. In a previous sociology class I was in we talked about how the majority of the wealthy in our country is held by the top one percent but I was still amazed it was more than the bottom 90 percent. Another fact I found very interesting was that the greatest factor in health risks is dependent on one’s wealth.

This leads to the video I watched, “Not Just a Paycheck.” This video was about people who have lost their jobs they have had for 20+ years because of relocation to another country with a lot cheaper labor. Ex-employees were left to collect unemployment and receive health care for only a year. When they did, or if they could, eventually find another job they were working for a third of what they earned before. Not only did they lose their jobs but their chances of developing a health disease increased. Some illnesses related to unemployment include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, alcoholism, suicide and homicide. People who have little control of their lives and less power suffer from similar diseases. A point made in the video was that wealthy Americans have more options, resources and power to control their lives resulting in better health which relates to the point made in the quiz that I referred to at the beginning of this post.

Another point that was made was that people that are unemployed and suffering from mental disorders can not afford their medication for the amount of time they need to be taking it. They stop purchasing these drugs, usually antidepressants, and begin a downward spiral. This video explained a lot of health problems with the major cause being stress, never mentioning genetics. I knew that unemployment has affected many people but I never knew it had such long term effects on health. I thought it was strictly financial trouble they were struggling with.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ethan Gotz says:

    Hi Danielle,
    The video that you watched seems very interesting yet somewhat similar to the video that I watched called “Place Matters”. You said in your blog “wealthy Americans have more options, resources and power to control their lives resulting in better health”. The video that I watched emphasized that rebuilding poorer communities is a must if we want poor citizens to be more healthy. For example, we can tear down the old houses and build new low-wealth housing, we can build more parks so that children have somewhere to go after school, etc. These options will give low-income families more options and resources to better control their health and take many of the stress factors away that may be causing them to become ill more easily. I believe that this problem is combination of both politics and economics. I believe that many of the locals that are in control of these communities feel that they should focus on the areas that have more potential for development and will make the community more profitable, where tearing down old houses and building new ones may cost more that what the cities are wiling to pay. Thus, I believe that locals are responsible for solving this health disparity, where they are the ones who are in charge of where the money goes within the city.

  2. Ethan Gotz says:

    Hi Danielle,
    The video that you watched seems very interesting yet somewhat similar to the video that I watched called “Place Matters”. You said in your blog that “wealthy Americans have more options, resources and power to control their lives resulting in better health”. The video that I watched emphasized that rebuilding poorer communities is a must if we want poor citizens to be more healthy. For example, we can tear down the old houses and build new low-wealth housing, we can build more parks so that children have somewhere to go after school, etc. These options will give low-income families more options and resources to better control their health and take many of the stress factors away that may be causing them to become ill more easily. I believe that this problem is combination of both politics and economics. I believe that many of the locals that are in control of these communities feel that they should focus on the areas that have more potential for development and will make the community more profitable, where tearing down old houses and building new ones may cost more that what the cities are wiling to pay. Thus, I believe that locals are responsible for solving this health disparity, where they are the ones who are in charge of where the money goes within the city.

  3. Albert Tamayo says:

    A perfect solution to this problem is not completely clear to me, but I do believe that businesses should be subject to more tax breaks if they maintain employees in the United States. It might help even more if the tax breaks were scaled to the average wage that businesses pay their employees and the number of people who work there on average. Obviously the broad theme of poverty is a tough problem to completely solve, but I believe that doing everything we can to encourage businesses to employ workers in the U.S. is an effective solution to the epidemic.

    This solution is economical in nature as I am suggesting that the United States government allow even more tax breaks to businesses than it already does. I think these tax breaks should be based on the average wage paid to each employee and the amount of employees each business has at any given time on average.

    I think the government AND the wealthy have the social responsibility to combat poverty and the emigration of jobs to outside of the U.S. The impoverished rarely run into circumstances that allow them to gain wealth (and thus, improve their health), so I believe that those with power (lawmakers and those with the most money) must do everything they can to help fix economic inequality in the broadest and most effective ways.

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